The episodic appearance of Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV) across central Africa over the last 15 years not only underscores the importance of filoviruses as uniquely virulent agents to both human and wildlife communities but also implies a very complex transmission scenario that must be understood if we are to prevent or mitigate filovirus outbreaks in the future. Efforts of a global network of scientists and healthcare workers have expanded our knowledge of filoviruses to meet the growing threat of Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers in Africa. In recent decades, several newly emerging diseases have resulted in major threats to both affected communities and global public health. Viruses from wildlife hosts in particular, have exhibited a capability for cross-species transmission (CST), and have caused high-impact diseases in humans Such as Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers, Nipah and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SAILS). It has been estimated that about 60.3% (Jones et al. 2008) of human infectious diseases are of animal origin (zoonoses) and even some important viral diseases that are traditionally considered of human origin, for example measles and smallpox, may very well have their prehistoric origins in wildlife (Wolfe et al 2007). It maybe logical and prudent therefore, to anticipate that there are other, new filoviruses out there that will cross into humans at some point in time. If we anticipate that these will happen and wish to be prepared for and mitigate this potential, then an understanding of filoviruses as a biologic system in the environment will be essential to that process. We will need to know how the ecological dynamic of CST interacts with a 'new' viruse's evolutionary factors to overcome environmental, demographic and host-specific barriers to transmission and infectivity to humans.